Tangible Landscape: A hands-on method for teaching terrain analysis

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This paper presents novel and effective methods for teaching about topography- or shape of terrain- and assessing 3-dimensional spatial learning using tangibles. We used Tangible Landscape-a tangible interface for geospatial modeling- to teach multiple hands-on tangible lessons on the concepts of grading (i.e., earthwork), geomorphology, and hydrology. We examined students' ratings of the system's usability and user experience and tested students' acquisition and transfer of knowledge. Our results suggest the physicality of the objects enabled the participants to effectively interact with the system and each other, positively impacting ratings of usability and task-specific knowledge building. These findings can potentially advance the design and implementation of tangible teaching methods for the topics of geography, design, architecture, and engineering.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

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